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What I Learned In 2011

What I learned in 2011; and no, this ADHD from A to Zoë blog post is not, thankfully, blank
Zoë Kessler, 4 months old; the beginning of a lifetime of bad hair days!

I’m celebrating not only the new year, but also my birthday (today).

Birthdays remind me that the clock is counting down. What do I want to do with the time I have left? And how do I figure out how much that is? See? Time-management is impossible!

Nonetheless, people without ADHD try to convince us otherwise, so I play along. I personally have learned how to be on time since my ADHD diagnosis, so that’s something (and I’m sure my non-ADHD employer is grateful).

Every year from January 1st to the 7th, I take time to reflect, clarify my goals, and to learn from the past years’ experiences.

A major problem with this strategy, of course, is that I can hardly remember last year. Still, I soldier on. I can still learn from what I think happened, right?

Things I definitely want to change in 2012

Due to my newly honed skill of self-observation (hard-won for a late-diagnosed adult with ADHD), I’ve identified a few things I’d like to change, re-define, or embrace this year.

1 ) This year, I’m honing my positivity. Look out person who accused me last year of being “insufferably cheerful.” You ain’t seen NUTHIN’ yet!

2 )  Point #1 notwithstanding, I’m going to stop automatically looking up, smiling, and waving every time I hear the beep-beep of a car horn because I’m assuming that it’s someone who is deliriously happy to see me. (damn car alarms) I will be especially vigilant when walking through parking lots.

3 ) Further to the autopilot dilemma (waving like Pavlov’s dog at total strangers every time I hear a car horn, see #2 above), I’m also going to stop panicking every time my phone rings because I expect a bill collector. In 2011 I learned how to pay bills on time. Yippee!

4 ) Instead of a bill collector, I’m going to program myself to expect something positive every time the phone rings: a new and lucrative assignment; just the help I need for a project; a friend who wants to take me on vacation to Hawaii; a Pulitzer prize. (Ok, the Pulitzer will have to wait until after the book is published. Let’s make that a free carpet cleaning. I could actually use that more than a Pulitzer right now).

5 ) Oh crap. I just looked at the guidelines for a Pulitzer Prize in Letters. You have to be a U.S. citizen. Ok, commitment #1, time to kick in: be positive. Maybe they’ll change the rules next year. Or I’ll marry an American. (I’m hoping for the rule change, ’cause I’m still working on my ADHD relationship skills)

6 ) I’ve learned that through treatment, I can transform being inappropriately blurtatious to open and courageous, and it’s worth it – every time.

7 ) Mostly, I’ve learned that life CAN get better even when living with ADHD. Either that, or I still have to calibrate my self-observation skills.


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What I Learned In 2011

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2012). What I Learned In 2011. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2012
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